Investing in the Community with Rogers High School and Bite2Go

According to Second Harvest, one in eight people in the Spokane community, and one in five children, are food insecure. That means that they do not know where their next meal is going to come from.

Bite2Go is a response to that problem. Bite2Go collaborates with our public schools and community partners by providing students with meals to take home over the weekend. Sonderen Packaging is proud to be one of those partners, and we believe in the difference it makes for students at home and in the classroom.

One of the recipients at Rogers High School, a student named Stevie, says that since she started receiving Bite2Go, she has not missed dinner over the weekend. She lives with her aunt, and, after her aunt lost her job, sometimes if she didn’t eat at school, she wouldn’t eat at all.

“Hunger affects our whole family greatly. Hangry is definitely a thing. Living in a house with two young kids, a teenager, three adults, and two dogs is hard enough. Having to rely off her one paycheck is not enough. Many days, one meal is all we can manage to put together.” – Stevie

Stevie’s classmate, Hannah, is the student organizer for Bite2Go at Rogers High School. She coordinates the Bite2Go program so that her fellow students have a bag of food that they can take home with them on Friday’s to help cover meals and snacks over the weekend. Second Harvest’s goal is to supply healthy food that any kid could prepare without the assistance of an adult. Rebecca’s and Second Harvest’s goals really inspired us here at Sonderen: we want the students in our own backyard to know where their next meal is coming from.

Ashley Grow, a teacher at Rogers High School, is so happy to have a community partner like Sonderen, “Asking nothing in return, they have volunteered their time to pick up and deliver our orders as well as financially supporting 22 students throughout the school year. Without fail, they show up with food every two weeks, and our students have learned to count on them and trust them. When community members invest financially and emotionally, they become personally interested in the well-being of the school. Our students see that we are all part of a greater good, and they want to invest their time and love into making their community a better place.”

According to At the Core, Bite2Go’s partner program, students who are food insecure are 150% more likely to be aggressive, hyperactive, and non-compliant in the classroom. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to sponsor the food insecure students at Rogers so they can be successful in school and outside of it. Employees can donate to Bite2Go from their paycheck. Currently the generous employees of Sonderen Packaging sponsor 22 students, and our goal this year is to double that amount. The need of the school is upwards of 250 students. To serve that many students is a large feat that requires a lot of coordination and time by the Rogers students who run the program as well as funds from other community sponsors in addition to Sonderen Packaging.

“The testimonials from the students have really motivated us to stay involved in our community, and we’re excited to continue our third year with Bite2Go and inspire our employees to get students the help they need when they start school again in September,” says Keva Sonderen.

We also love having students from Rogers come in for tours of our facility so that they can understand what jobs are here in their community. When schools can’t fund classes like wood-shop and metal-shop anymore, some students never find out that what they really love to do is work with their hands. We have a lot of entry-level positions, but we hope that we can help the next generation find jobs that will grow into careers that they love. Partnering with Bite2Go is important to us because we want to invest in the students at Rogers High School. We have many employees who attended Rogers so they are quite literally our future. We want them to be able to enjoy school and just be kids who turn into amazing young adults. This partnership provides them a better opportunity to do just that.

Despite our community partnership with Bite2Go and Rogers High School and the other community partners in the greater Spokane area, over 2,500 students at more than 20 schools still need this kind of food support. Organizations and individuals interested in sponsoring students can learn more at lifeatthecore.org.